Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants (nightshades) need to be planted 18" apart. Plant to stake the tomatoes, they will get taller and heavier than those flimsy cages can support. But those cages are good for the peppers and eggplants whose stems are brittle and will need support as the produce especially later in the year. Once the plants are growing, we will eventually spread several layers of newsprint around the base of our nightshades. Then we will cover the newsprint with wheat straw. The paper and straw will help with soil moisture, weed control, and prevent soil pathogens from splashing onto the lower leaves of the tomatoes. I'll have straw at the garden next week for everyone to use.
A sure sign of spring is the fresh asparagus we're enjoying with dinner almost nightly!!